feasts and seasons

Our first Michaelmas. (It’s all about the carrots.)

I don’t know how it is that we have never before celebrated this feast. It has been on my list for years now, but we never seemed to fit it in. Maybe it is because it follows the big “birthday season” of late September, when our three oldest children have their birthdays. Maybe it is because it falls just before the feast of St. Therese, my patron, on October 1. Whatever the reason, we just haven’t made it happen.

This year, we finally did it. We pulled it off. We had a lovely Michaelmas Feast of the Archangels.

This feast feels like a kickoff to fall, which is my favorite time of year. (I say that about lots of times of year, but I mean it the most about fall. Really.) It celebrates the three archangels mentioned in scripture: St. Michael, St. Gabriel, and St. Raphael. For more information on the tradition of the archangels, here’s a great article.

We had a roasted chicken with red potatoes, these whiskey-glazed carrots, and blackberry cobbler. I meant to make a salad…there should always be a green vegetable…but I didn’t. (It was fine, Mom. No one died.)

The cobbler and the chicken were delicious, but this feast is all about the carrots. You must try them. I could drink the sauce with a straw- it is that good.

The children each colored a picture of one of the archangels (these coloring pages from Waltzing Matilda are lovely if you don’t want to draw your own) . Sam read the traditional prayer to St. Michael and a prayer to St. Gabriel and St. Raphael. We decorated the table for fall and added three angels from our nativity set (which, thankfully, has a host of angels). It wasn’t complicated, but it felt festive- a perfect opening to a season of warmth and good food and celebrations.

A friend of mine growing up had a saying in his family: If you do something once and you like it, it’s a tradition. (If you do it twice, it’s a tradition even if you don’t like it.)  I liked both the saying and the family, so I adopted it for my own.

We all agreed that we liked Michaelmas quite a bit, so that does it- it’s our newest family tradition.

For more Michaelmas, try these links:

History, prayers and relevant readings about the Feast of the Archangels at Women for Faith and Family

Traditions, food and some great art at Two O’s Plus More (where I first learned that I have been pronouncing Michaelmas incorrectly)

The recipe for the amazing whiskey-glazed carrots from The Pioneer Woman

Ideas for a family Michaelmas from Molly at Molly Makes Do

Kendra’s crazy fun-looking devil piñata celebration at Catholic All Year

A great overview of Michaelmas with traditional menus (and a legend about the Devil spitting on blackberries) from Haley at Carrots for Michaelmas

A video interview on Michaelmas of Haley by Bonnie at A Knotted Life (where you can hear Haley use the correct pronunciation!)

Archangel coloring pages at Waltzing Matilda

Prayers, recipes and activities for the Feast of the Archangels at Catholic Culture


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